By Devin Almonte
Juniper is a shrub that people love to hate and we see if everywhere. I too, struggle with Juniper, mainly because of what we picture in our heads when we think of Juniper. It’s a fairly easy shrub to identify with its prickly branches and various shades of green and blue hues. Because it’s so easily identifiable, we are quick to notice Juniper that is unkempt, overgrown and downright sloppy. I think of a dilapidated house no longer occupied, or a homeowner who clearly doesn’t step foot out in the garden. You can’t even see the actual house anymore because the Juniper is so monstrous. With each passing day, the Juniper works to gobble up even more of the home, creating the most unsightly landscape. It’s not a pretty sight and it doesn’t make me fall in love with Juniper.
So why does everyone home seem to have some type of Juniper in their landscape when we don’t really like it? Because it is very easy to grow and care for, it doesn’t really need pruning, and they tolerate adverse conditions quite well. And it’s often the go-to plant when we have no idea what else to plant.
I want to help you like Juniper. I want to you see Juniper as more than a last resort option for your garden. Instead of hating this shrub, I want you to reconsider its purpose and usefulness. Used well, Juniper can add tremendous visual value to your garden. It’s a great choice for your garden landscape and can be absolutely breathtaking when it's done right. The problem is when we ignore our planted Juniper all together and don't plan for its appropriate placement. This is when it becomes the unwanted focal feature on your property – unkempt, overgrown, wild, and unshapely.
Juniper needs some TLC, the right placement, and the right role in your garden to be a successful addition to your landscape. While they do not really need pruning, I do recommend pruning. You need to love and care for your Juniper to keep it’s manicured and elegant appearance.
Juniper also works best when it’s not the star of the show. I believe it’s important that you use Juniper in a supporting role as opposed to the main role in your garden, just as you would view the supporting and main characters in a Broadway play. Juniper is great when it fulfills the role of supporting and highlighting the other beautiful flowers, plants, and shrubs in your garden. Without it, your garden may lose dimension and the main focal plants and flowers won’t come life as well they should.
This is the beauty of the Juniper. Giving it the right amount of attention, the right placement and the right role in your garden will bring your garden to life with remarkable impact.
Attractive evergreen with blue-tinted foliage on thick branches that spread wide across your landscape. Slow growth rate. Deer-resistant.
2-3 ft tall, 4-5 ft wide.
Prefers slightly acidic soil.
Fairly disease resistant.
All comments written above are my own opinion and thoughts as it relates to gardening.
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